NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, November 26th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (7-7) at Washington Wizards (5-8), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers have won three straight and hope to continue that momentum as they begin an eastern road trip in Washington on Tuesday night.
The Lakers bested Detroit, Golden State and Sacramento, all at home, to even their record. They head east to meet Washington, Brooklyn and Detroit over the next three.
L.A. was in the headlines on Monday, inking future Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant to a two-year extension for a reported $48 million. Bryant could've been a free agent at season's end, but that has been avoided. Now, it's all about getting Bryant back on the court as he's still rehabbing from Achilles surgery.
In Bryant's absence, and Steve Nash's for that matter, the Lakers have done it with balance. Against the Kings on Sunday, four Lakers scored in double figures en route to a 100-86 victory.
"We're not thinking, we're reacting," said LA head coach Mike D'Antoni. "We're sharing the ball on offense, and that transfers to the defensive end. Everybody that went into the game did something positive."
Xavier Henry paced the Lakers with 21 off the bench. Pau Gasol registered 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Jordan Hill managed 10 points and 13 boards. Jodie Meeks chipped in 14 and Steve Blake handed out 12 assists.
The Wizards have taken three of their last four, spurred on by the exceptional play of John Wall, who was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday.
He averaged 24.3 points, 8.5 assists and 2.75 steals in 39.8 minutes per game during the four games. Wall finished the week by scoring 30-plus points in consecutive performances against the Toronto Raptors and the New York Knicks.
"It's a great accomplishment," Wall told the team's website. "It was a lot of hard work and dedication between me and my teammates. I don't care if I have those big numbers if we aren't winning games."
Washington has won two in a row at home with the most recent victory a 98-89 decision over the New York Knicks on Sunday.
Wall led the way with 31 points on 10-for-18 shooting, but other Wizards stepped up as well. Marcin Gortat scored 16 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, while Martell Webster managed 19 and Bradley Beal scored 18.
Beal will be out at least two weeks with a stress injury in his right leg.
The Wizards head out for a two-game road trip, starting Wednesday in Milwaukee.
The two teams split last season's matchups with each team winning on the other's court. The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 in our nation's capital.
11/26 11:44:32 ET